Sunday, June 27, 2010

"Sleep Deprivation Makes You Stupid"

Day 05/ Classes Start Tomorrow: Last Day to Relax!

One of the things I like about the faculty at Cornell Summer College is how understanding they are when it comes to sleep. The main events planned for this Sunday was the mandatory Crash Course for all summer college students, and an Activities Fair in which students could could themselves up for specific groups or events, such as intramural sports. As you can see, this schedule is nothing compared to yesterday's hectic one. Everyone had the opportunity to wake up as late as 12 in the afternoon. I, in particular was in dire need of this because ever since that night at O'Hare Airport, my chances at getting enough and decent sleep did not happen. and even though blogging last night kept me up until 2 in the morning, I managed to get seven hours of sleep. What's even better was that it was a sound and good slumber.

Phoebe, Emily, a new friend we met that morning named Taylor, and I set out for Appels Commons together for brunch. Immediately, the humid and hot weather of Ithaca began to sink in. Our short trek to the wonderfully air-conditioned dining hall was quite long and slow. Inside, many people had the same idea of getting there early so many of the tables and chairs were already filled. In addition to that, many students started filling up the room below us. The FIFA World Cup was on, so go figure.

After I ate a nice breakfast with my new friends, I spent the rest of my brunch hours with my fellow ILC peers and two of their roommates. They sat outside instead of inside, and although it was a bit hot, I actually very much enjoyed sitting there and looking out at the beautiful scenery, as opposed to being indoors. Besides for Beilul and Chris, everyone else at our table were all "Freedom and Justice" students. Because I was so full, I didn't eat anything with them. Which, turned out to be just fine, because I had a great time listening to Andrew Woo and a new friend, Ben, debating and sharing their opinions on the current American issues, such as health care and illegal immigration. Everyone at our table, including myself, really enjoyed what they both had to say. If the group talks will be anything like this for tomorrow's class, I am looking very forward to it.

Our next destination was the Statlen Hall Auditorium, where our three hour long "Crash Study Skills Course" It was about a twenty mile walk to the beautiful and large lecture hall. It was a good thing Ramsey showed us where this room was yesterday; we ended up showing many of the other students hanging around outside, where to go.

In about ten minutes, the whole auditorium was almost completely jam-packed with 600 students. On the stage stood Ms. Janet Snoyer, our "professor" for the day. At her feet were a bunch of colorful beach balls in various sizes. I had a hunch that she was planning to throw them to the crowd later on. What I found most impressive though, was the sound system inside that room. We heard Ms. Snoyer's clearly through her tiny microphone pinned to her shirt.

Just prior to the class, I could hear people groaning when they realized that this lecture was to be 3 hours long. After being taking Chemistry at Contra College last summer, I was used to the 3 hour lectures. I was also very excited to hear what she could teach us in terms of studying better at Cornell and any learning places.

Ms. Snoyer introduced some answers to some general questions to start of the lecture, such as "why is college different from high school." Afterwards, we took some time to this personal, short quiz to figure out what learner you are. On the handout she handed us, we had to rate a list of traits, in which you'd rate 4 for what was most like you, and a 1 for what was least like you. after about 10 minutes, I added up all my numbers and plotted my results on the circle chart they provided. I found out that I was both a "converger" and an "accommodator"; in other words, I like active experimentation, but can learn from both concrete experience and abstract conceptualization. I found this experiment intriguing, especially the very idea that scientists were able to develop such a testing idea like this. Knowing this information will help me a lot for Junior year, because even as of now, I'm still looking for that perfect studying method that works best for me.

My most favorite part of the lecture was the short section on the importance of sleep! Ms. Snoyer showed us ashort video about sleep deprivation and teenagers. I really enjoyed it because everyone in our auditorium could relate to it. "For those of you whose felt sleepy during school, raise your hands!" Ms. Snoyer asked. "and if you're not raising your hand, you must be sleeping." I knew sleep is a very important part of our daily lives, but I've always accepted that fact as something I heard often, from sources such as my parents, or elementary school teachers the day before state standardized test. Seeing the video and all the scientific findings they made on sleep deprivation really gave me a wake-up call. (no pun intended.) As a sophomore last year, I slept an average of about 6 hours every night and oversleeping during the weekends. I know 100% that I don't want that to happen to me next year. I found out, unfortunately, that sleeping is very precious, the hard way.

Here are some of the notes I took from the video:
  • Sleep deprivation affects your mood, energy, and concentration.
  • Sleep is really food for your brain; it is its fuel.
  • Teenagers need about 9.25 hours of sleep every night.
  • Studies show that students with better grades tend to have better sleeping schedules.
  • Sleep loss accumulates.
  • Try to keep a consistent sleep schedule; go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Never nap more than 20 minutes or you will be very groggy and hesitant to wake up.
  • Always nap in 90 minute increments.
  • Don't be passive about how much sleep you get.
  • Never sleep 4 hours before a test.

Ms. Snoyer gave us valuable information regarding everything that will help better our academic lives and independent studying time outside the classroom. I felt that I procrastinated a lot and was a bit disorganized last year. After Ms. Snoyer's session, I'm ready to start Junior year now, knowing exactly what methods I need to apply to my studying habits to better my education. Needless to say I enjoyed that three hour lecture. Being able to sit in a large lecture hall has confirmed my previous decisions: I like smaller classrooms.

Afterwards, I did several small things in a couple of hours. I found out where Marlott Hall, my classroom for tomorrow was. I met many new friends again: Linh from California, Ryan from China, and Alexa from Pennsylvania. I also signed up for the "Cornell Times" at the Activities Fair; I'll be looking forward to writing and taking pictures for them. The dinner tonight had the best selections compared to yesterday.

Since class is tomorrow, I'm posting my blog a bit earlier than usual. I want to study some more and get that recommended 9.25 hours of sleep!

More shots from Cornell University:


  1. I am so excited that you are going to write for the Times! And, just to add to that invaluable information, scientists still do not know what sleep does for the brain; they only observe the effects. But I am delighted that you will be trying to sleep more.
    Me too-
    Ms. K

  2. I wish I could have attended the "Crash Course", I need the advice. My sleeping habits aren't exactly on point either. Your pictures are very visually stunning and mentally stimulating as well, as they please the eye and entice the mind to think of what the campus as a whole is like. I really enjoyed reading your blog!

    -Austin Long